HC Deb 06 November 1973 vol 863 cc784-5
5. Mr. Golding

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to provide for more beds for the young chronic sick in North Staffordshire.

Mr. Alison

The regional hospital board has no immediate plans to increase the number of beds in North Staffordshire but is keeping in mind the needs of the area in the light of regional priorities. The long-term plans for the development of district general hospital facilities at Stoke will reflect the national policy of including provision for the young chronic sick.

Mr. Golding

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that one of my constituents, on reaching the age of 65, has been transferred from a chronic sick unit—the Fanny Deakin—to a geriatric hospital at Bradwell? Is he further aware that she has been confined in a ward which, because of steps, she cannot leave unaided in her wheelchair; that the ward is also occupied by three old people who cannot communicate; and that there is no occupational therapy? This has produced a great trauma for the lady concerned.

Mr. Alison

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for drawing our attention to this case and I shall certainly examine it. I share deeply the heartfelt sympathy that the hon. Gentleman has expressed for the lady in question. It must be remembered, nevertheless, that there are some occasions when, in spite of the large number of special units that have been introduced during the last two or three years, there is some merit in folk being a little closer to home, even it is means that they are in a different type of unit.